Lee Krasner

What's on in New York: Lee Krasner at the Robert Miller Gallery

The artist's late works show her escaping the Abstract Expressionists and creating a world of her own

Lee Krasner no longer needs defending; feminists rescued her reputation from under Pollock’s shadow in the 1970s and a touring retrospective in 1984, the year of her death, reconfirmed her importance. A smaller survey show at the Brooklyn Museum in 2001 revealed her as a postmodernist avant la lettre, a restless experimenter who essentially rejected the Abstract Expressionist mentality. While Krasner’s contribution to art history may still be an open question, it is now easier to look at her work, without the constant encumbrance of her life. This is most interesting when it comes to Krasner’s late painting, which is being shown this month at Robert Miller (10 September-11 October). The gallery has 20 works from three series she completed in the final 15 years of her life: her last unique paintings on canvas, such as “Palingenesis” (1971), selections from the collages in the 1976 series “11 ways to use the words to see” (above, “Imperfect indicative”, 1976) and collages from the “Solstice” series of 1980. For context, the show also includes a few paintings predating the period, such as “Mr Blue” (1966), which represent Krasner’s final flirtation with the gestural Abstract Expressionism of Pollock & Co . Many of these late works show her constant rehashing of past production, in particular the 1976 collage series, where she recycles elements of drawings made while studying with Hans Hoffman in the early 40s.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Lee Krasner: after Palingenesis, Robert Miller Gallery'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 139 September 2003